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Mau about gay issues

By Steven | February 23, 2010

Well, recent events have given a certain piquancy to the broadcasting standards complaint about this exchange between Paul Henry and Alison Mau, on Breakfast last year:

Henry:  …a little bit later in the morning I thought we might talk about the Acting Principal Family Court Judge’s call that it’s time the adoption laws were updated to reflect society. What he’s effectively saying, I think, is that you shouldn’t discriminate against homosexual couples when it comes to adopting. I’m a little bit iffy on that…
Mau: Why? Why shouldn’t same sex couples raise children just as well as mixed sex couples?
Henry: It’s not natural, is it?
Mau: Oh don’t start that.
Henry: Well it’s not natural, is it? It’s obviously not natural.
Mau: Not your sort of natural, no.
Henry: It’s not God’s sort of natural and I’m not even religious, but it can’t be, it’s not, like, natural, is it? Like you don’t get a whole clan of cave bears that are all male because that just couldn’t happen. It’s not natural.
Mau: You’re just determined to open a big can of whoop-ass aren’t you?
Henry: I’m not trying to do it… I’m merely…
Mau: Raising a talking point? That’s fine.
Henry: Because I mean people will… it smacks of the sort of thing the Labour Government did of course, doesn’t it? I just think you know I’m iffy on it, ‘cause we’re talking adoption aren’t we? I’m just iffy on it.
Mau: Yes goodness me, iffy – it smacks of human rights. How outrageous!
Henry: Yes human rights. A lot of bad things have been done under the… guise of human rights, haven’t they?

And later…

Henry: Well, it is. It is unnatural, homosexuality…
Mau: No, it’s not.
Henry: …But is it wrong?
Mau: [reading feedback] “To call this unnatural is ludicrous and narrow-minded. Gay couples are great parents and are more than qualified to raise children. In short, it’s about accepting that society is diverse.”
Henry: I mean, it is unnatural though. We shouldn’t be frightened of saying that it’s unnatural. It is unnatural. Although homosexuality is through all species. I don’t know if it’s through all species but many, many species. A lot of monkeys are homosexual.
Mau: Actually… we had one text that said that somebody’s aunt had a homosexual pair of magpies who tried to, who were sitting on eggs to try and hatch them.
Henry: Extraordinary. And they didn’t, did they, hatch? Where did they get eggs from? They stole the eggs, thieving homosexual magpies. The thing is, though, if you go to any animal park, and I’ve got to be careful what I say here, but if you go to any animal park, you will find monkeys being filthy with each other.
Mau: That is completely beside the point.

It seems that Paul Henry didn’t know, and if he did, he’s an even bigger tosser than if he didn’t.

The BSA complaint was about denigration/discrimination. The complaint was – rightly, I think – rejected. The threshold for denigration complaints is high. This was part of a political discussion about adoption. And when viewed as a whole, Alison’s robust responses counteract a lot of the damage to the standard.

Topics: Broadcasting Standards Authority, General | No Comments »

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